Matthew 1:5, Ruth 1

Editable Online Notes HERE

Sometimes it's dangerous to be an outsider.

Turn to Ruth 1
  • This December we're unpacking the surprising truth, that the message of Christmas is not for the holy & the whole, but for schemers, sinners, outsiders, and the broken. In Other Words, the message of Christmas is for people just like me and you.
  • We're discovering that by looking at four characters in the genealogy of Jesus. Four women who stick out like a sore thumb, because women weren't usually included in genealogies of that day.
    • Tamar -- the message of Christmas is for schemers
    • Rahab -- the message of Christmas is for sinners
    • This morning we'll see that the message of Christmas isn't for the holy and the whole, but for outsiders like Ruth, and like you and me.
Two Questions:
1) The Pain of Rejection
  • Read vv. 1-5
  • Ruth was an outcast because she was a Moabite
    • Genesis 19:20-27
    • Sodom and Gomorrah have been destroyed
    • Abraham’s nephew Lot has been rescued
    • His wife is turned into a pillar of salt
    • Lot and his two daughters are holed up in a cave
    • Lot’s daughters get him drunk and sleep with him
    • His firstborn daughter becomes pregnant and has a son named Moab
    • Hundreds of years later (Numbers 22-24), the Israelites are wandering in the wilderness
    • The Moabite people are afraid of them so their king Balak hires a prophet named Balaam to curse them
    • Balaam is unable to curse Israel from the outside, so they infiltrate them from the inside
    • Moabite women seduce Israelite men, and God’s people begin worshiping the false gods of Moab
    • Deuteronomy‬ ‭23:3-4‬—“No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever, because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.”
    • Ruth 1:1 says this story happened in the days when the Judges ruled
    • Since Boaz, one of the main characters in Ruth, is the son of Rahab who was rescued from Jericho, this has to be fairly early in the period of Judges.
    • Perhaps shortly after the death of Joshua.
    • Judges 3 tells us about one of the very first judges that led Israel, a man named Ehud. He was a lefty assassin who delivered the Israelites by killing a fat king named Eglon. Can anybody guess the ethnicity of King Eglon? Moabite. 
    • In fact, Jewish rabbinic tradition says that King Eglon was Ruth’s father. Although there is nothing in the text to suggest such a connection, it may indicate common belief that Ruth’s story occurred during the years that Israel was enslaved by Moab.
  • Ruth was an outcast because she was a Woman
    • We live in a world of girl power and #MeToo, but Ruth lived in a day when women were often treated like property
    • How pro-women the Bible is (including women in genealogy, story like this, etc.)
  • Ruth was an outcast because she was Barren
  • Hard to realize how painful this is when you live in a culture where women regularly choose a type of infertility through sterilization, birth control and abortion
  • Ruth was an outcast because she was a Widow
  • How we too are outcasts...
  • “But she has a connection to God’s people by marrying Naomi’s son!”
    • Superficial connection
    • This is the same type of connection many people have to God
Just like Ruth, we are outsiders who need redemption!
2) The Power of Relationships
  • Hallmark movies—it’s the destination
  • We know how this story ends, but how?!?
  • Ruth won’t get to meet Boaz if she doesn’t go to Bethlehem and she won’t go to Bethlehem without Naomi
  • Naomi didn’t get everything right, and neither do we
  • But she took Ruth to the right place—for us it’s not a place but a person
  • Hershael York teaching kid about trinity 
  • God Uses His Flawed Instruments
  • God Uses Providence
  • God Uses Suffering
  • God uses a Redeemer
3) A Picture of Redemption
  • Two redemptions in Ruth...
    • Of her soul
    • Of her circumstances 
  • Boaz the Redeemer